Technical Election Assisstance Project, Romania, March 10- September 29, 1992
IFES has been closely associated with Romania's democratic transition process since May 1990 when it sent a team to observe the first multiparty elections to be held in that country for over 40 years.
In February 1992 IFES was again present to observe the local elections when the united opposition forces, the Democratic Convention, made impressive gains and eroded the stranglehold that the National Salvation Front had exercised since 1990 on the Romanian political scene.
In March 1992, IFES sent a two-person team, Charles Lasham, UK and Marta Maria Villaveces, Colombia, both experienced election consultants, to Romania to conduct an assessment of the local elections and to make recommendations for the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections later in the year. (For more details refer to "IFES Technical Election Assistance project, Romania, March 1-9, 1992)
Marta Maria Villaveces remained in Romania until the September 27 parliamentary and presidential elections, working with the Central Electoral Commission on all aspects of election administration. In addition, she offered assistance and advice to a wide range of non-governmental organizations and government ministries on voter education issues.
From 4-6 September, 1992 Ms. Villaveces organized a seminar in Brasov on "The Romanian Electoral System" for members of the political parties, election officials and representatives of governmental and non-governmental bodies.
By mid-September Ms. Villaveces had produced a guide for election officials and a voter education guide, as well as assisted the Central Electoral Commission to conduct training sessions for election officials in various regions of the country.
On election day, September 27, 1992, Ms. Villaveces observed polling stations in Bucharest and the activities of the Central Electoral Bureau. It was clear from her own observations, as well as those of other international observer teams present for the elections, that considerable progress had been made since the February local elections, concerning the administration of the elections.· While technical problems still remained, observers found a contrast between the "widespread procedural inconsistencies" of the local elections and the "increased transparency in the organization and administration of election day procedures".
Before leaving Romania, Ms. Villaveces compiled a detailed series of recommendations for the use of future election commissions in Romania. These recommendations are contained on page 8 of this report.
Particularly given the continued absence of any permanent Central Electoral Commission, IFES hopes that this report, together with the earlier report produced by Ms. Villaveces and Mr. Lasham, will serve as an important source .of reference for Romanian election officials in future elections.
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